Hollywood actors have it made. They simply have to turn up on time, deliver their lines, listen to their directors, and bingo – they get handed a cheque for millions. It really doesn’t seem too complicated.
The problem is, the more famous they get, the more likely they are to develop monster egos, regressing into giant toddler-types who do the exact opposite of what they agreed to do. They become whiney. They become self-indulgent. They become unreliable.
The antics some of these incredibly well paid thespians pull would get any average nine-to-five Joe fired in a heartbeat, without question. In Hollywood, the pink slip is a little harder to hand out because of actors being insured and contract-protected up the kazoo. The equivalent is therefore a damaged reputation, earned as a result of delinquent or onset diva behaviour.
Unreliability is in fact a trend that extends back to Hollywood’s acting ancestors. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Judy Garland were all well known for pulling diva behaviour that between them included arriving onset legendarily late, refusing to act, showing up to shoots drunk, and needing time off work for “personal issues” sometimes delaying shoots for days, and at great cost.
The Hollywood boys of old were sometimes equally unreliable. Marlon Brando did turn up on time to the set of Apocalypse Now— but about 100 pounds heavier than Francis Ford Coppola asked him to be for the role of a withered rogue colonel living off the land in the war-torn jungle. Coppola was reportedly forced to film the actor in low-light most of the time to hide his portliness, and also had to grit his teeth at the actor’s ill-prepared lines. And hard-drinking Welsh actor Richard Burton was sometimes known to be as drunk during shoots as he was in his private time.
Alcohol and drugs have certainly played a role in hindering actors’ reliability, both past and present, with filming delays as a result of recovery stints a typical tale. Whatever the cause, and whatever the misbehaviour–showing up super late or not at all, or trying to take over the director’s chair–some actors simply hinder getting the job done in the eyes of their colleagues. As a result, some once beloved actors have found it increasingly difficult to find good roles; simply because no one wants to work with them!
Here are the worst offenders, earning spots as Hollywood’s most unreliable actors.
10. Lindsay Lohan
She parties all night, turns up to work whenever she wants, and no one’s gonna damn well tell her otherwise! Except they do, because these days, no one in Hollywood wants to touch Lindsay Lohan with a ten foot pole. Lohan is probably the name most synonymous with unreliability in Hollywood.
Reports of turning up to work late after all night drinking-fests, and getting dropped from projects due to DUI arrests, court hearings, and stints in rehab have plagued the actress for years. What’s more, the actress has been known to send directors and producers pulling out their hair with diva moves, like trying to change her agreed-upon-role last minute.
Really, Lohan never got her mojo back after taking Hollywood by storm as the sophisticated-cute, husky voiced teen of Freaky Friday and Mean Girls. All that fresh-faced promise seemed to go up in ganja-infused smoke, and much worse. These days, Lohan can barely get her court ordered community service done, let alone a guest stint in a movie; sadly all because of her persistent self-destructive behaviour, and resulting reputation for having a shockingly irresponsible work ethic.
9. Charlie Sheen
When Charlie Sheen was roasted by Comedy Central in 2011 post-meltdown, comic host Seth Macfarlane opened up his monologue with a mock-obituary of the actor. The crowd may have guffawed, but Sheen’s drug-induced erratic behaviour over the last few years has been no laughing matter; really, it’s something of a miracle that MacFarlane’s fake Sheen-obituary could remain but a joke.
Repeated delinquent behaviour on the set of Two and a Half Men famously resulted in the actor getting the heave-ho from its fed up producers. No one–not even Charlie–could believe he screwed up so badly, losing out on the golden goose he’d been handed as the highest paid TV actor at the time, earning an insane $1.2 million per episode.
The monumental meltdown that ensued will be forever etched in the public’s morbid imaginations; Sheen’s manic rants about tiger blood, “winning” and being a “rockstar from Mars” while smoking profusely and acting like a madman during radio and TV interviews gave paparazzi and mainstream media alike a field day. Buoyed by a self-deluded feeling of a new calling, Sheen took his crazy on the road in a tour (above)–that fell quickly on its face.
It seemed the wake-up call he needed to get his rep back in a new show, Anger Management, alongside Selma Blair. The well received show helped keep Sheen in the highest paid TV actor category; but Sheen quickly showed echoes of his irresponsible Two and a Half Men behaviour on set, angering costars and producers once again. The plug was pulled on the show last year, and now it’s anyone’s guess as to the future of this famously unpredictable star.
8. Shia LaBeouf
Maybe Shia LaBeouf should keep that brown paper bag over his head on the red carpet. LaBeouf is an example of everything that’s wrong with a certain ungrateful variety of celebrity. Unable to enjoy the fruits of their extraordinary good fortune, celebs like LaBeouf seem to get all introspective and “woe is me” for no apparent reason.
In the last year, LaBeouf tried to make sense of his fame by going nuts, proclaiming “method actor” as his excuse. But his bizarre behaviour just rubbed costars and everyone else the wrong way, getting himself arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour, and fired from Broadway show Orphans after irritating Alec Baldwin.
He has also been a publicity nightmare for his own film projects, famously dissing Transformers director Michael Bay as an “Adolf Hitler,” and slamming his Indiana Jones movie so much that he made Indy himself furious; costar Harrison Ford reportedly called LaBeouf a “f***ing idiot” for bashing the film.
Making matters worse by inexplicably chasing a homeless man in the street after a court hearing, and trying to start fights left and right, LaBeouf has recently proven himself to be slightly unhinged, and therefore a shaky bet for directors and producers.
Among LaBeouf’s irritating comments to reporters: “I don’t even really know what it is I do for a living – the level of insecurity is very, very high. You’re making a lot of money, getting a lot of accolades and positive criticism for something where you don’t even know what you’re doing.”
Maybe a couple more artsy Sia videos and arrests for belligerent behaviour will give the actor the introspection he craves to get it back on track.
7. Christian Bale
Everyone’s heard of the hero complex. For those of you who aren’t quite sure, here’s an apt partial-definition from urbandictionary.com: “Some dude who thinks he’s god’s gift to humanity.” Is it such a stretch to imagine that the mega-star actor of three Batman movies might have such a complex?
Christian Bale certainly seemed to demonstrate that he might when he went absolutely nuts on a crew member for wandering unawares onto the set of Terminator Salvation, apparently breaking the actor’s precious acting moment. The outrageous freak-out was caught on audio and leaked to media, causing the actor justified humiliation over decidedly prima-donna behaviour. But it’s not just Bale’s hot-headedness that makes him a slightly risky bet for film studios; Bale is also known for avoiding public appearances, which isn’t exactly conducive to selling films.
In a tell-all of his time producing the Jay Leno show, author Dave Berg recounts how Bale abruptly cancelled his appearance on the show for overly personal questions in the pre-interview. Berg recalls: “I had asked him where he grew up (Wales), how big his family was (three sisters), and what his first gig was (a Pac-Man cereal commercial).”
Maybe Bale’s got some kind of repressed Pac-Man issues?
More likely the question on family rubbed the actor the wrong way at the time, as Bale has been known to sometimes fall out with his own family as well; in 2008 the actor famously lost it on his mother and sister, with her three young children present, at the Dorchester hotel in London on the eve of the city’s Batman premiere of The Dark Knight. Bale was questioned by police for an alleged assault, and Bale cut off all ties with his Mom and sis afterwards.
With all of that unpredictable behaviour going on, it’s not that much of a surprise that Bale is considered to be one of the more difficult personalities in Hollywood.
6. Jennifer Lopez
She’s displayed diva behaviour aplenty as a pop star, with her lists of demands at hotels and events the stuff of Hollywood legend; reports of the starlet demanding specialty food items, bottles of water brought to room temperature, specific flower bouquets, and mirrors placed just so in her hotel and dressing rooms have been well documented.
As an actress Jennifer Lopez is seemingly just as high maintenance.
Reports had the diva refusing to be spoken to during the making of What To Expect When You’re Expecting, demanding that all contact be made through her handler. She’s also got a reputation for being difficult at movie-launches and events.
In 2013, Lopez dropped out of film- project The 33 about the Chilean mining disaster, due to conflicts around her American Idol judging schedule at the time; but rumours flew of the film’s producers possibly balking at outrageous demands yet again.
She did pull off a decent film success in her most recent A Boy Next Door, which she starred in and co-produced. She’s also reportedly slated to star in another upcoming film for Universal Pictures, Mothers I’d Like To…, co-producing again under her own company, Nuyorican Productions. The choice to co-produce her own stuff lately could indicate that the only way for the difficult actress to land the roles she wants is to dig into her own very deep pockets.
5. Mike Myers
Hey, it sure feels like a long time since we last saw the man behind the Austin Powers comedy movie-machine and the Shrek family blockbuster franchise. There’s a reason; former SNL legend Mike Myers is seemingly notorious for throwing hissies on set, and has ruffled many a Hollywood feather with sudden, very costly changes of heart.
Myers’ erratic antics have included going berserk on a grip for looking him in the eye on the set of Austin Powers, and having a meltdown on the set of Wayne’s World for–get ready for it– a lack of margarine on set! The film’s director Penelope Spheeris told the New York Post that Myers raged at his manager on his car phone, threatening to quit the production because the set catering only made butter available as a spread.
Oh, and you know that Scottish accent Myers puts on for his famous green ogre in Shrek? That was reportedly put in the film at Myers’ insistence–halfway through the filming of the feature. The change is said to have cost Dreamworks $5 million in production change costs.
The actor was previously sued for $3.8 million by Universal and another staggering $30 million by Imagine Entertainment during the development of Sprockets, a film based on his famous goofy German SNL character, Dieter. The film never got made because Myers backed out at the last minute, calling the script “unacceptable.” His decision angered as much as puzzled the producers, considering the comic himself was the driving force behind the project, having co-written the very script he criticized.
Myers countersued, citing invasion of privacy and defamation; but he’s never really been able to recover his rep with Hollywood’s brass and has struggled to gain success with his film projects since.
4. Edward Norton
Edward Norton has rubbed so many directors the wrong way, that he was reportedly voted back in 2008 as “The Actor Most Likely to Get a Baseball Bat To The Spine.” Ouch.
The problem stems from Nortons’s reported propensity for “shadow directing,” which is the movie-making equivalent to back seat driving, and Norton seemingly taking the prize for the whiniest, bossiest kid in the backseat ever.
The actor started getting the rep way back when on Red Dragon, starring alongside Anthony Hopkins, with the actor reportedly fighting with the director to use pages of his own unsolicited script-rewrite for himself and Hopkins. He steadily rubbed directors the wrong way from there, telling fans to give The Italian Job a miss, and refusing to promote The Incredible Hulk because he didn’t like the final cut of the film. Norton responded by disappearing for some “alone time” just as the film premiered, leaving it to lead costar Liv Tyler to do all of the red carpets solo, and creating a publicity nightmare for the film’s producers.
Norton’s reputation for being unreliable and difficult has dramatically reduced good role offers; the actor was famously overlooked for the role of Hulk in The Avengers, following the diva behaviour he pulled on The Incredible Hulk.
3. Bruce Willis
When Bruce Willis went to London to promote his 2013 film Red 2, he seemed to be less than enthralled with the publicity train, but especially when radio station Magic FM got on board for their Q&A on the film. Quirky host Jamie Edwards seemed to have Willis rubbed the wrong way from the get go, creating an excruciating passive-aggressive interview experience for the host, costar Mary-Louise Parker, and anyone else forced to listen. If Willis was there to sell the movie, as he patronizingly reminds Edwards, then he might have tried harder keeping his temper in check in the face of whatever it was that got his goat.
There-in lies the problem for the actor; renowned for being hotheaded on film sets, the actor also clearly allows his grievances to get the better of him, revealing loose-cannon antics that can damage a film’s publicity– and making him an unreliable bet for film producers.
In a talk-show appearance, director Kevin Smith said working with the actor on 2011’s Cop Out was “soul-crushing,” pointing fingers at Willis for refusing to help promote the film, which flopped big time at the box-office.
The director said, “I had no f***ing help from this dude whatsoever,” describing Willis as being difficult on set, and refusing to sit for film poster promo-shots. Smith said he had been a long-time fan of the actor, and had looked forward to working with him, until he got to know the “real Willis.”
2. Russell Crowe
It’s as if Russell Crowe was made for battle. He can bring it onscreen, and he can sure do the same offscreen. But it might just be that the actor’s legendary aggressive temper has narrowed his field of Hollywood projects over the years.
You know you’ve got a problem on your hands when your actor is a guy with a rep for biting a chunk out of a guy’s cheek in a bar-brawl and spitting it back at him.
And Crowe’s temper is by no means relegated to bar fights, having been well documented since way back when on the set of the ultra-violent Nazi skinhead flick, Romper Stomper in which director Geoffrey Wright said: “Russell is the rudest actor I’ve ever met.”
Later, rudeness was the least of it with Crowe at times getting downright L.A. Confidential-aggressive; Crowe reportedly threw a BBC producer up against the wall spitting angry for cutting his best actor BAFTA awards speech short; later that same night the actor went a little nuts on a fan for taking his photo.
Depending on the day and his mood, Crowe’s also known for being unpredictably surly and difficult during interviews, thus a publicity nightmare for producers. Crowe’s fiery reputation has certainly spooked a few would-be directors, cutting down film-role offers and keeping his film career rather quiet these days.
At 51, Crowe may have finally calmed down with the help of a new first love over acting anyway; the passionate rugby man seems more interested these days in channeling his energy and aggressions through watching the brutish play of the Australian team he has owned since 2006.
1. Val Kilmer
If you think of Val Kilmer and automatically think of the fighter jet pilot Iceman character he played in the now ancient Top Gun, it might just be because you can’t remember anything else he’s been in. That’s because Kilmer hasn’t been seen in anything worthwhile on the big screen in an eon, and with good reason; he’s got one of the worst reps for pissing people off in the biz, with several reports of high maintenance and bizarre behaviour.
Known for keeping exasperated directors onset for hours after shoots to discuss his “character motivation,” he became nicknamed “Psycho Kilmer.” Director Joel Schumacher who worked with Kilmer on Batman Forever called the actor “childish and impossible,” and “the most psychologically disturbed human being I have ever worked with.”
Tombstone screenwriter Kevin Jarre concurred, telling a reporter, “There’s a dark side to Val that I don’t feel comfortable talking about.”
Director John Frankenheimer vowed never to work with Kilmer again after a reported painful shoot with the actor on The Island of Dr. Moreau; it was even reported that after Kilmer’s final scene in the film, Frankenheimer said, “Cut! Now get that bastard off my set!”
And Kilmer was so cute in The Princess Bride. Oops. That wasn’t him.